When the Ravens traded tackle Orlando Brown, Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs, many criticized the move because it left the team vulnerable at the offensive edge, a vulnerability that was exacerbated by Ronnie Stanley’s inability to properly work through the rehabilitation process of his surgically “repaired” ankle. The trade left the line in tatters and consequently, offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s unit never approached its full potential in 2021.
GM Eric DeCosta gambled on Stanley’s return and that roll of the dice produced snake eyes. In the short-term, the trade was costly. But the long view tells a different tale.
Upon his exodus from Baltimore, Brown said all of the right things. He wanted to play left tackle. He wanted to be the anchor of the Chiefs reconstructed offensive line. He wanted to stay in Kansas City for the long haul. But all the while he knew that when Chiefs GM Brett Veach pulled the trigger to dress Brown in KC red, the behemoth tackle held all the cards. He had leverage. After all, a two-year rental that cost a first-round draft pick isn’t exactly the thing that good GM resumes are made of.
“There was frustration and there was disappointment. They really like Orlando Brown Jr., they love having him be a part of this team, but the money he was asking for was too high for them. They feel like they don’t want to not have stability at left tackle here, but they also don’t want to pay top-of-the-market money for a player that they don’t think is the best player at his position in the NFL.
“One [Chiefs’] front office person said, ‘This isn’t the same guy that we traded for.’ The feeling there is that when they got him from Baltimore is that he was going to be a team player and work with them on a team-friendly type of deal. That was not the case. Right now we’re looking at a situation where Orlando Brown probably won’t be there for training camp and may not be there for Week 1.” ~ Jeffri Chahida, NFL Network
It’s never been about the money. I’m so appreciative for this organization and all my teammates. I couldn’t thank DeCosta enough, he’s a incredible football mind and one the best men I know. I want to live out the dream my dad had for me. https://t.co/JhHj4PL2mG pic.twitter.com/bbki7zO9Vb
— Orlando Brown Jr. (@ZEUS__57) February 5, 2021
Veach’s fatal flaw was allowing negotiations to get this far. Once Brown reached the status of “free agent”, Zeus, Jr. and his handlers gained control. And now they are seeing the player that forced his way out of Baltimore; the player who will either force his way out of Kansas City or atop the league’s pay scale for tackles; the player who talked the talk of a team player. Only the Chiefs didn’t know the team Brown was really talking about, was “Team Orlando”.
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) July 19, 2022
The Orlando Brown, Jr. contractual saga is likely a precursor of sorts for what lies ahead in Arizona between the Cardinals and newly acquired WR Marquise Brown. Salaries for receivers are out of control. One only needs to look at the deal former Cardinal, Christian Kirk signed with the Jaguars – a 4-year, $72M deal with $37M in guaranteed money. After 4 seasons in Arizona Kirk’s stat line included 236 receptions for 2,902 yards (12.3 YPC) and 17 TD’s. Comparatively speaking, Marquise has posted 195 catches for 2,361 yards (12.1 YPC) and 21 TD’s in 3 seasons, all with a run-first offense in Baltimore.
The Cardinals gave up a first-round pick for Brown. Marquise only needs to sit back and observe how former Sooner and Raven teammate Orlando does with his negotiating table manners to pick up a few tips on how to leverage the situation.
Brown and Brown. Two headaches that DeCosta freed himself of while parlaying the acquired draft capital into Odafe Oweh and Tyler Linderbaum. It will be interesting to watch these stories unfold.
What The Buck?
NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks seems like a nice enough guy. Sometimes he actually seems to know what he’s talking about. Yet too often, he just seems to talk for the sake of talking. He’s like “Exit” or “Mothers of The Disappeared” on U2’s Joshua Tree. In other words, he’s filler. He’s that extra half loaf of bread at an Italian restaurant before the calamari or charcuterie board arrives. And in the end, you just can’t take him seriously.
Back in 2018 following the NFL Draft, Bucky sat down with Colin Cowherd and shared that Lamar Jackson was the Ravens quarterback of the future.
"@Lj_era8 is the future for the Baltimore Ravens as their starting quarterback."
-Bucky Brooks sits down with Colin Cowherd this morning to discuss Lamar Jackson’s long term future with the @Ravens
— LFL (@LiveFeedLville) April 28, 2018
Three years later, Bucky had a change of heart and suggested that the Ravens should draft Justin Fields to replace Lamar – to allow Jackson to move on and “graduate” from the team.
Fifteen months later, Bucky expects Lamar to return to his 2019 MVP form.
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) July 19, 2022
And this all begs the question, “Did Bucky ever graduate?”